A New Start
"Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 AMP
Thoughts for Today
If guilt from your past failures has driven you away from disciplining your children and holding them responsible for their actions, perhaps the behavior of one or more of them has gotten out of hand. No matter how bad the situation may appear, there is always hope. If you haven't confessed your failures, do that now. Receive forgiveness through Christ and ask him to help you start making right choices. Then be encouraged to take these steps:
- Have a talk with your child and apologize for your past mistakes as a parent.
- Tell your child you love him (or her) too much to permit his unacceptable behavior.
- Tell him you will always love him and pray for him.
- Tell him you are going to hold him responsible for his actions as God holds you responsible.
Your child's behavior probably won't change overnight, but you will have made a start. Trust the Lord to help you and guide you along the way. Be consistent with your child—both in your love and in your kind but firm discipline. When you make a mistake, ask God's forgiveness and, if appropriate, apologize to your child. But keep moving forward, trusting God for the results.
Father, thank you for forgiving my failures. Help me take this stand with my child and show my great love for him by training him in your ways and holding him accountable. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.
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